Sunday, April 10, 2011

The Secession of 1834

I just finished reading The Secession of 1834 by Arie Baars. This little book was given to each member of our congregation and explains the roots of our church. I found the following quote both enlightening and convicting:
...the Act of Secession stress: "And [we] declare in addition, the desire to exercise fellowship with all truly reformed members and to unite with every assembly based on God's infallible Word in whatever place God has gathered such." It is regrettable that this principle, which is clearly based upon the Word of God, has been so little taken to heart. The number of divisions has increased greatly in our Reformed circles. Nevertheless, those that have "the same precious faith" are exhorted by God to seek one another. Or does He have to come to drive them together with His chastening rod?

Here we live in "little Jerusalem," where there are many believers gathered under many different church roofs. Yet we have little contact with each other and are even guilty of critically condemning each others churches based on practices that have no impact on our salvation. The "true church" is not a denomination. Heaven will not be composed of believers from one denomination, but rather from many unlikely churches. I may not agree with a fellow believer on whether women should wear hats to church, or whether Christian families should own televisions. But as long as we agree that we are saved only by the grace of God, that we can do nothing towards our salvation in and of ourselves, and that Jesus Christ is the only way to salvation, then we are brothers and sisters in Christ.

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